Bleak House Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Mr. Bucket is, by trade, ___________.

2. Discouraged by the law, Richard decides to ___________.

3. Seeing Lady Dedlock has the effect of ___________.

4. It becomes obvious to Jo that Lady Dedlock ___________.

5. Misinterpreted by Guppy, Tulkinghorn states that he feels Gidley is ___________.

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Lady Dedlock's favorite way to hide? Why does she die?

2. What is interesting about Smallweed demanding money for the letters he once had in his possession?

3. What is discovered at Krook's that may change the course of the Jarndyce suit, and how does it affect the main characters?

4. What is Mrs. Snagsby's problem? What is comical about her behavior at the "improvement" of Jo?

5. What is the relationship between Esther Summerson and Miss Barbary?

6. It seems curious that Dickens' characters tend to go to certain places for no apparent reason, such as Jarndyce agreeing to visit Neckett's place. In any case, a curious theme that seems to resurface is the neglect of children. Discuss your ideas about why Dickens continues to bring up this theme.

7. How did Gerge get so embroiled in the plot of this story? What is his role?

8. Describe Mrs. Jellyby's compassion for humanity. Is she a rational person?

9. Discuss Mr. Guppy's pursuit of Esther as he follows her around the city. How would this be viewed today?

10. How likely is it that Mr. Jarndyce would simply bow out and suggest Esther marry Woodcourt? Is this just common courtesy or this time in England?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A "beadle" was something of a cross between a police officer and church official. Research the role of beadles in England in the 1800s. How did society view them at that time? It is helpful to re-read Chapter 11 of Bleak House about the beadle's arrival at Krook House at the time of Nemo's death.

Essay Topic 2

Write a researched essay about hair powder. The Dedlocks' servants were described as using powder. What was the origin of this practice? From what was it made? What was the societal implication of wearing hair powder? Discuss the taxes levied on hair powder, and the course of its popularity.

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 22 of Bleak House, Mr. Bucket makes reference to the "fever houses" in London. Research the epidemics of typhus and smallpox that swept through England in the 1800s. What was the statistical impact, how were the diseases treated, and how were they brought under control?

(see the answer keys)

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